Cup bid on the edge of dis­as­ter

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JUSTIN CHAD­WICK

TOWNSVILLE’S John- Pa­trick Smith has con­tin­ued a dream month of ten­nis by qual­i­fy­ing for his first ATP semi- fi­nal at the Hall of Fame Cham­pi­onships in New­port.

Smith, ranked 156th in the world, had never won an ATP tour event match head­ing into the cham­pi­onships in Rhode Is­land but picked up his third straight win with a vic­tory over Ja­pan’s Tat­suma Ito 6- 3, 6- 7 ( 2), 6- 3 in the quar­ter- fi­nal.

The Townsville prod­uct has al­ready knocked out third seed Bernard Tomic and Amer­i­can Jared Don­ald­son on his way to the quar­ter- fi­nal and will meet for­mer Hall of Fame win­ner Ra­jeev Ram in the semi- fi­nal.

Ram, 161st in the world, beat top seed John Is­ner in the open­ing round and scraped past France’s Adrian Man­nar­ino overnight.

A win to 26- year- old Smith would put him into his first ATP event fi­nal and caps a good month for him af­ter he earned a spot in a first grand slam main draw through qual­i­fy­ing at Wim­ble­don. WORLD No. 1 and six­time Wim­ble­don cham­pion Ser­ena Wil­liams pulled out of the Swedish Open with an el­bow in­jury yesterday.

The 33- year- old was set to play Klara Koukalova in the sec­ond round hav­ing de­feated Ysaline Bon­aven­ture of Bel­gium 6- 2, 6- 1 in her opener at the clay­court event she won in 2013.

Wil­liams is sched­uled to play in Stan­ford, Toronto and Cincinnati be­fore the US Open at Flush­ing Mead­ows.

Wil­liams will now set her sights on re­cov­er­ing for the US hard­court sea­son.

Else­where in Bas­tad there were wins for third seed Barbora Strycova who beat Ev­geniya Ro­d­ina, 6- 4, 6- 1.

Swe­den’s Re­becca Peter­son saw off sixth- seeded Ka­te­rina Sini­akova, 7- 5, 7- 6 ( 8- 6), and Yu­lia Putint­seva de­feated French qual­i­fier Al­ize Lim, 6- 0, 1- 6, 6- 2.


AUS­TRALIA’S Davis Cup ti­tle hopes are on the verge of col­lapse, with Thanasi Kokki­nakis and Nick Kyr­gios los­ing their open­ing sin­gles matches on a day of high drama.

Kokki­nakis lost 6- 4, 6- 3, 6- 3 to Mikhail Kukushkin in just over two hours yesterday, be­fore Kyr­gios fell 7- 6 ( 7- 5), 6- 7 ( 7- 2), 7- 6 ( 7- 5), 6- 4 to world No. 115 Alek­sandr Ne­dovyesov.

At 2- 0 down, Aus­tralia must win to­day’s dou­bles en­counter just to keep the tie alive.

The dis­ap­point­ing on­court re­sults capped a for­get­table day for Aus­tralian ten­nis af­ter Bernard Tomic was ar­rested in Amer­ica overnight.

Tomic was taken into cus­tody af­ter fail­ing to fol­low po­lice or­ders to leave his $ A7000- a- night pen­t­house at the W Ho­tel fol­low­ing a night of loud par­ty­ing.

“Ob­vi­ously that’s the first thing that came up on my Face­book when I had a scroll. I saw about eight mug shots of him,” Kokki­nakis said af­ter his straight- sets de­feat.

“We’re try­ing to block out. It didn’t seem too bad.

“We’re just try­ing to do our own thing. We’ve got the tie, which I tried to fo­cus on.

“Ob­vi­ously you don’t

it want to have that sort of is­sue hap­pen very of­ten. It’s not great for any­one.

“But I still feel con­fi­dent us boys can get it done.”

Tomic should have been with the Davis Cup team in Dar­win.

But he was over­looked for se­lec­tion fol­low­ing his out­burst against Ten­nis Aus­tralia at Wim­ble­don.

With Tomic un­avail­able, Kokki­nakis was handed re­spon­si­bil­ity for open­ing the tie against Kaza­khstan’s topranked player.

But with his first serve aban­don­ing him, the 19year- old strug­gled.

“I wasn’t able to find my game. And when I found it in the sec­ond set, I got bro­ken straight back, which killed me,” Kokki­nakis said.

“I didn’t find my rhythm to­day. I’m tak­ing it pretty hard at the mo­ment. I’m pretty dis­ap­pointed.”


PRES­SURE: Nick Kyr­gios of Aus­tralia shows his feel­ings on court yesterday.

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